Recent Work: ‘Have Kids Will Travel’

I met October Moore and Canedy Knowles a little over 5 years ago when they were shooting a travel show pilot called ‘When in Rome’ through Limbo Films. The concept at the time was that these two wonderful actresses and real life best friends would travel the globe with a lens on things of interest to fashionable, cosmopolitan women like themselves.

As the staff editor and office manager at Limbo, I was always ecstatic to get out of the office, even if it was to do something I’m not particularly adept at, in this case: field audio. A furious one day shoot took our two camera crew to Portland nosh standbys like Voodoo Donuts and the food cart pods on 9th and Alder. The ladies peeped boots at Johnny Sole and had a Nau fashion show at The Lizard Lounge. Then came Stumptown Coffee followed by a cocktail lesson at Clyde Common. Along the way I learned a lot about my own city–ie: Stumptown is a nod to Portland’s rich logging history–gained insights into the variety and use of craft vermouth and just plain had a good time primarily because October, Canedy and the crew were just so much fun to be around. That’s no surprise when you learn that October, in addition to being an accomplished and sought after voice actor (seriously, I would listen to her read the phone book), possesses a laugh that can light up the cosmos. Canedy is a hilarious improv actor–with Chicago City Limits, which you should see if you’re in NYC–who makes regular turns on stage and screen. Her quick wit and whimsical sense of humor had me guessing whether the facts she was dropping were real or just elaborate cerebral constructs–seriously, whoever invented the OHSU tram must’ve been high at the time, right? It was over before we knew it and I took a new position shortly thereafter, so wasn’t on hand to see the edit take shape.

The Crew
October, Josh, Gary, Canedy and I wrapping things up at Ron Toms.

Everyone paid attention to their workaday lives for awhile and then real life started happening pretty damn quick. Fast forward to present day and everyone in the above picture either has a child on the way (woohoo Josh!), had a child of their own (the ladies and I) or, in Gary’s case, welcomed their first grandchild. I can speak from experience that such an event can distract you from doing many things you’re accustomed to–like sleeping through the night, exercising or going to the bathroom with any semblance of privacy–while certainly lowering your bandwidth to pursue passion projects like getting a travel show pilot off the ground.

That is if you’re a normal person with normal aspirations, but lucky for everyone this group is not that. After some retooling around their new parental status, October and Canedy jumped back in the pool and are producing ‘Have Kids Will Travel’, once again through Limbo Films. They shot over the course of 3 days in NYC focusing on the experience of world travel through the lens of mom’s with kids in tow. The fashion show in the previous version has been swapped for tips on how to pack practically for both mother and child. The food choices are all kid friendly. The drinks are traded for, well, nothing–these ladies are travelling with toddlers in a major city for crying out loud; everyone has their limit!

The results are similarly stellar to the first: October and Canedy’s rapport and charisma leap off the screen as they straddle making the show simultaneously entertaining and insightful. And aiding that insight is where I came in this time. I swapped the mixer and cans (headphones to normal people) for a processor and keyboard, providing some animated maps of locations the ladies didn’t have time to visit but would also recommend. Rather than a simple 2D map with the address and cross streets, I wanted to take the newly free Google Earth Pro for a spin and give the map some context utilizing 3D perspective. Having recently been to New York for the first time myself, I thought it’d be nice to know what a given place might be next to that you can see from street level; think the Chrysler Building or Freedom Tower. This works to both orient the viewer and allow them to plan other stops around the recommendation before they’re wandering through midtown with their iPhone and Yelp trying to get their bearings. Admittedly, it also looks much cooler, something I took one step further by stylizing the maps to look like a blueprint (y’know cause this show is a blueprint for how to rock a trip the best possible way…I’ll show myself out). I complimented this with some informative icons that hearken back in style to the glory days of international travel, the 1960s. The first map highlights museums and parks, the 2nd some kid friendly restaurants that don’t sacrifice the adult enjoyment. Take a look at the finished product below:

In the end, it’s hard not to wish that every collaboration was as fun and fulfilling as these two projects have proven to be. I for one will certainly be crossing my fingers that the trip doesn’t end here.

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